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Posted By Leah Baker

Here are three more success stories from the YTheyJoin™ program. This program identifies nine types of association members, codes them, and enables you to do target marketing that is personal, timely, and very cost-effective.


Conference Promotion – An assn wanted to spend money more effectively on conference promotion so they designed different letters and resonant statements for the various YTheyJoin categories. Then, extra mailings and color brochures were sent to the categories most likely to attend while postcards were sent to the categories least likely to attend. The savings from this strategy was over $30,000 and it also resulted in increased attendance.


Publications – YTheyJoin strategies can help you strengthen ties to the assn with the member types having loose ties such as Mailboxers. Here is an effective and simple strategy to remind Mailboxers that you are meeting their needs: at the end of the calendar year, send them an “Annual Index of Articles” that were in your magazine or a “Preview of Articles” for the upcoming year.


Flip the Message – An assn with physicians and nurses as members found that they had different YTheyJoin profiles. Physicians were dominated by Cognoscenti then Altruistics, while nurses were dominated by Altruistics then Cognoscenti. As a result of this finding, the assn wrote renewal letters to physicians that emphasized access to specialized info followed by helping patients; and they flipped this message for nurses. As a result of these targeted messages, member renewal rates increased. The assn also used this strategy to market publications to physicians and nurses and book sales increased.


There are many more good ideas in our YTheyJoin Workbook. For more info please e-mail or visit the Web site at or call 703-772-5263.

Posted By Leah Baker

The YTheyJoin™ member types and related codes enable you to do much more powerful, sophisticated, and efficient marketing. It is targeted, personal, timely, and very cost effective. It tells the member, “We know what your specific needs are” and explains how you are meeting these needs and expectations. It also helps you deal with unexpected surprises that occasionally arise for an association whether it is public relations or proposed legislation, and it can also help you sell products. Here are some real-life success stories from associations that use YTheyJoin.


Finding Members – an assn decided to send renewal letters to lapsed members based on their YTheyJoin categories. For example, the letter to Relevant Participants emphasized upcoming meetings and speakers while the letter to Cognoscenti emphasized new publications. They got a positive return of 8% to 22% (rates varied by YTheyJoin member types) resulting in unexpected revenues of $23,000.


Averting Disaster by Mobilizing Quickly – a national assn needed to mobilize quickly to stop proposed state legislation at the committee level that would negatively impact its members. They did this by identifying all the Altruistics in that state who then contacted legislators and this coalition was successful in its mission. Now this network of Altruistics is managed by assn employees who regularly keep in touch and spur them to quick action when needed.


Board Relations  – The YTheyJoin pie chart is all it takes to show your board what the members are really about! It dramatically shows the unique distribution of member types in your assn. An assn dominated by Boosters and Altruistics is very different from an assn dominated by Mailboxers and Shapers. The board of one assn asked why conference attendance is usually 15% of members rather than 30% and the YTheyJoin pie chart revealed the answer. It showed that the member types most likely to attend were close to 15%. Mystery solved.


Read three more success stories in the next blog article!


There are many more good ideas in our YTheyJoin Workbook. For more info please e-mail or visit the Web site at or call 703-772-5263.

Posted By Leah Baker

Your association is connected. You do social media. You know about mobile devices. You may even have a Director or VP for New Media! But how do you make sense of it all and know which members want what? YTheyJoin identifies nine types of members and here are some ideas for serving them with new media. The focus here is on four of the member types.


Altruistics: Use Twitter to send updates on pending legislation; use Facebook to create a grassroots community to support causes or undertake a major volunteer activity.


Cognoscenti: Ask them to write on topics relevant to your association for Wikipedia; put a short video on YouTube introducing the association’s Meeting Director who reviews the steps that speakers need to take before the next big meeting.


Mailboxers: Use Linkedin to create a group or network for your members who are dispersed around the country or the world and have little face-to-face interaction with the association; use blogs or ask some of these members to blog for your association.


Boosters: Go to and find topics where Boosters can write quick articles related to your association activities or “how to” articles; use list serves to start discussions on a variety of topics.


In your next member survey, consider asking how many use mobile devices such as i-phones or blackberries. Do they carry them all the time? How often do they check for info or messages? (And have you taken a look on Twitter to see what people are saying about your association?) Remember that members have different expectations on how you communicate with them and how quickly you get back to them. Send an e-mail to a person in their twenties and they are likely to get back to you in 5 minutes!


Have a new-media day!


For more info please call 703-772-5263 or e-mail or visit our Web site at

Posted By Leah Baker

We identify 9 types of association members based on their professional needs and expectations. Our program called YTheyJoin™ was developed using scientific methodology. (For more info about its development and the extensive crosstabs, please see the book by Dr. Dale Paulson, “Allegiance: Fulfilling the Promise of One-to-One Marketing for Associations.”) 



         “YTheyJoin – Nine Member Types”

Mailboxers – want info through mail or computer

Relevant Participants – want to attend meetings

Shapers – want to be on committees and shape policy

CompShoppers – compare assn to other sources of info or benefits

Cognoscenti – want specialized info not available elsewhere

Boosters –  want assn to improve their image

Altruistics – believe in your mission and want a leg voice

Doubters – resist change and new initiatives

Non-Relevants – retiring or changing professions


Can you guess which member types dominate your assn? Here are the top three member types for some national assns, taken from the Allegiance book.


US Chamber of Commerce: Altruistics 51%, Mailboxers 31%, Cognoscenti 7% 

Urban Land Institute: Relevant Participants 31%, Altruistics 23%, Shapers 21%

Am Soc of Assn Execs: Mailboxers 38%, Cognoscenti 18%, Relev Part's 17%


Each assn that does YTheyJoin receives a Pie Chart showing the distribution of member types in their assn, a Summary of Implications, and a Workbook with marketing ideas for each type. For more info call 703-772-5263 or e-mail

Posted By Leah Baker

Please be an educated consumer and know that there are two kinds of research: scientific and un-scientific. You cannot make generalizations from studies if they were not done scientifically! Statisticians have known this a long time - remember the headline “Dewey Beats Truman” in the 1948 presidential election!


Scientific research follows the rules of statistics and randomness and includes a detailed methodology statement explaining how these rules were followed. It is especially important when selecting a random sample or a stratified random sample of people to be surveyed. If these rules are followed, then you can use the survey results of a sample to accurately predict the behavior of all your association members or other organizations, i.e. you can generalize. The person conducting the scientific research will be able to tell you the level of confidence – for example, “you can predict within plus-or-minus 2.5 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.” They can explain how many people you need to survey to achieve different levels of confidence and they can also explain non-response bias.


Unscientific research or open-ended research does not rely on these methods and should never be used to predict the behavior of all of your association members or of associations in general. This type of research includes such things as interviews, focus groups, and any survey of a sample of people not done scientifically. When reporting the results of these projects, be careful to say something like “The majority of the respondents to this survey say that . . .” You cannot generalize about all members or all associations. There should be a statement at the beginning of the final report saying the survey was not done scientifically and generalizations cannot be made.


In a nutshell, with a scientific survey you can predict behavior with precision. You can say that all members do this . . ., or most associations do that . . . 


With unscientific research you cannot predict behavior with precision. You cannot say that all members do this, or most associations do that.


Bottom line is you want your researcher to have taken at least one statistics course in college or grad school!


My company has done scientific surveys for over 100 national associations. And yes, we have advanced degrees in research! For more info call 703-772-5263 or e-mail




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Leah Baker
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